2,744. Multiple Meanings of Words

Hilchos Nedarim 2:10

Let’s say that someone declared that produce would be to him like trumah. If he meant money that was donated to pay for offerings, the produce is prohibited to him; if he meant the trumah that is taken from stacks of grain, it remains permitted. If he had no specific intention, it is prohibited. The same is true in all comparable cases.

Hilchos Nedarim 2:11

The preceding halachos apply in places where these terms have multiple meanings. In a place where “cheirem” without any modifier only means donations for the Temple upkeep, declaring produce to be like cheirem renders it prohibited. Similarly, if the local meaning of the unmodified term “cheirem” is donations given to kohanim, the produce remains permitted. The same is true in all comparable cases because when it comes to vows, we follow the meanings understood by people in a given time and place.